How to Remove Paint From Door Hinges

Corey M. Mackenzie

When painting a door, it’s easy to take short cuts and leave the hardware intact. In these cases, paint almost always gets on the hinges. When wet, many paints can just be wiped off. But if the paint has dried, heavy-duty paint strippers will work. But there are other options, too.

  1. Remove the hinge and the other hardware from the door. Place the painted metal items in an old 2-gallon pot on the stove.

  2. Fill the pot about half-full with water and add three tablespoons of dish soap. Bring to a simmer.

  3. Test one piece with tongs after 15 minutes. Pull it out of the water and lightly scrape it with a knife. If paint sloughs off easily, they are done. If not, leave them in for another 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Take the hinges out of the pot and place them on a piece of cardboard. Use a toothbrush to get the loosened paint off--but be careful not to touch the hot metal with your bare skin.

  5. Open up windows for ventilation, or bring the hinges outdoors. Even non-toxic paint strippers can give off unpleasant fumes. When the hinges have cooled, apply a thin layer of paint stripper to remove any leftover paint, if necessary.

  6. Tip

    If using a paint stripper, make sure you get one safe for all surfaces.\nBe sure to wear safety glasses.


    Do not leave the pot unattended. It may boil over or boil dry--both are hazardous.\nSome paint strippers will remove the finish on metal pieces along with the paint. \nSome paint strippers give off toxic fumes. You may need to wear a respirator or work on the hinges outdoors if using some paint removal products.